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My 1960’s Brick Ranch Renovation & Flipping Numbers


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Well, I did it guys. Four years later (four years that felt like ten…) I've finally gotten around to posting about the flips I did in 2020. Truly a testament to the season of life I'm in, but now that I live and breathe real estate day in and day out for my clients, it's fun to go back and look at what I was doing when I first got my real estate license weeks before the pandemic, and before the arrival of my son. This brick ranch renovation was the second of the ones I did before my divorce and to this day is still a project I'm incredibly proud of.

Plus you know I'm not one to let *content* go to waste, so here we are. With my license up for renewal this year (in Georgia we agents have to renew every four years) I've been thinking a lot about how I started in real estate, and waxing nostalgic about my era as a full-time real estate investor.

Brick Ranch Renovation Before & After

It was hard to resist the charm of this mid-century gem that I purchased on the heels of my first flip. Something in me just knew if I didn't do it right away, if I took too long of a break – something would happen and I wouldn't flip again, so when I found this home in December 2020, I jumped on it. And I probably overpaid, which is a reason why I made very little money on this deal (see the numbers at the end)

For the exterior of this brick ranch renovation, we painted all the trim, the front door, and installed new gutters, and cleaned up the yard. Small shifts and tweaks that made a huge difference, in my opinion.

One of the most dramatic shifts I made in this home was creating the breakfast bar out of that main wall, creating a more open flow throughout the home, and closing that sunroom door out so we could create more cabinet space along that wall.

Brick ranch renovation with sunroom addition

1960's Brick Ranch Renovation — The Bathrooms

In homes of this era — you do get an ensuite, but it is typically very, very tiny. Sometimes it only comes as a half bath instead of a full 3-piece. Many come with what I call “coffin showers”, that are so tight and so dark I wonder how anyone living would want to get into one. There's usually a plethora of pastel-colored tile.

In this renovation, we made do with the space and floorplan we had, while trying to make the design as luxe as possible. My favorite part of this project: The all-brass theme we did in the primary bathroom. 

Brick ranch renovation: small primary bathroom

I saved money in the hall bathroom my reglazing the tub and tile — and freshening it up with a new vanity, toilet, and fixtures. That extra can light in the shower made a world of difference in how bright the space felt.

Lower Level Reno

Fully finishing out the basement space with drywall and luxury vinyl plank added usable square footage to create a playroom/office/flex space for families, which helped with resale.

Brick Ranch Renovation: The Numbers

I only showed small pieces of what we did to this home, but trust me when I say that every surface of this house was touched during my seven month ownership. When you start renovating older homes, it is like pulling a thread. You replace one thing and hope to keep the old next to it, but it just doesn't look the same. Even though bringing this home into this century made me so happy, I hope by keeping the floorplan we retained enough of its original charm.

  1. Purchase $166,000.00
  2. Project: $84,500.00 (Originally budgeted for $65k)
  3. Closing: $12,000.00 (Buyer's agent comission and closing assistance)
  4. Home Sale: $265,000.00
  5. Total Profit = $2500.00

I'm a little murky on the details of this reno, but the broad strokes of the finances I was able to find in my Flipper Force software/receipts. I wish I had detailed breakdowns of repair cost room by room, but four years later and post-pandemic and divorce, my brain is (frankly) soup.

My thoughts

I remember thinking at the time how much I would have made on this deal had we not had “the most epic rainstorm in 100 years” that backed up water into the lower level of the home adjacent to the carport. That repair – the trench drain, relaying the LVP, and labor – put me about $7500 into my profit margin. The profit was already slim on this one because I bought high — that saying about how you “make your money in flipping when you buy,” is so true and is evidenced by this flip.

I didn't lose money, though. Even though ~$2500 return for seven months of blood, sweat, and tears doesn't feel like a great ROI. The way this flip turned out was one of the reasons I was so anxious to do a third; to truly test my business model out of the three and see if my flipping business could be viable. But then I got a divorce, and the market shifted dramatically, and interest rates skyrocketed. So, my “third green door” awaits me out there someday.

The TL:DR

Although the rehab and sale took a bit longer than expected (almost 7 months end to end on this project!) This home is now a glamorous, updated take on mid-century design. Most of the elements of this project were about taking what was existing (fixtures from previous owners, beautiful existing hardwood floors) and shining them up.

It was seven years between my first home renovation and this one, and it's already been four. Perhaps the next one is just another three years in the making. Stay tuned!

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